The Center for Clergy Renewal is Building a Community of Pastors

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by Nancy Enderle, director of the Center for Clergy Renewal and Kathleen Owens, manager of clergy programming and communications

In addition to what the ecumenical cohort of 18 pastors experience when they are in residence at the monastery for their Immersions, a major component of The Center for Clergy Renewal experience includes ongoing spiritual formation that occurs in a “monastery without walls.”

This community is nurtured through:

Ongoing virtual access to Holy Wisdom

As part of the million-dollar Lilly endowment grant, The Center for Clergy Renewal made a substantial financial investment in 2019 to purchase and install equipment for streaming Sunday Assembly services and sharing mid-day liturgy of the hours (audio only). Little did we know how valuable those investments would become to the entire Holy Wisdom community as we encountered the pandemic shut downs of 2020-21!

In addition to the online access to worship, Contemplative Renewal Online (CRO), a private website was developed for cohort pastors. The website features resources and content that is organized around the Benedictine values of Listen, Work, Prayer, Study. The CRO design team included Pamela Johnson, Ann Baltes, Tom Zanzig, and Liz Morris, former co-director, Jerry Buss, and current director, Nancy Enderle.

Ongoing relationships and connection:

During their second residential immersion, pastors are assigned to small groups that will meet monthly online for the remainder of their two-year commitment. The small groups follow a contemplative circle process that helps them support one another in their ministries and ongoing spiritual deepening. Many pastors continue to meet in these groups after their official time with the CRC is completed.

Ongoing offerings of online experiences for the community of CCR pastors includes weekly Lectio Divina during Advent and Lent, and quarterly Zoom gatherings that feature a guest speaker and conversation around contemplative approaches to issues pastors face in ministry.

Lastly, the staff of the CCR encourages support to pastors who have come to the immersions and many who are new to Holy Wisdom by fundng personal retreats called Deep Breaths. This ministry is funded by a generous grant from the Living Compass Wellness Initiative. The Rev. Kathleen Owens, the Manager of Clergy Programming and Communications at the CCR, serves as the chaplain to those experiences.

If you are a pastor, or know of a pastor, who would like to experience these opportunities to join our community of pastors contact us at:

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